Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024


India has greater than 2.19 crore wells — dug-wells in addition to shallow, medium and deep tubewells — that suck out large portions of valuable groundwater from the bowels of the earth. And, worryingly, solely a modest quantity of this water will get re-charged.

Of these, Maharashtra has greater than 3.2 million wells comprising 27, 49, 088 dug-wells, 131, 100 shallow tube-wells, 174, 194 medium tube-wells and 179, 583 deep tube-wells.

Uttar Pradesh tops the record with over 3.9 million wells of all kinds, however pleasantly, Sikkim and Manipur are the one states that don’t have any wells of any sort, whereas Delhi, Punjab and Chandigarh don’t have any dug-wells, although they’ve borewells, as per the Centre’s official knowledge offered to parliament (December 2023).

According to a Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) report, practically 70 per cent of the floor water in India is taken into account ‘unfit for consumption’, and solely a small portion of just about 40 million litres of waste-water that’s dumped into rivers and different fresh-water our bodies every day within the nation is sufficiently handled to stop it from degrading the water high quality.

The particulars are much more surprising on the international stage, the place greater than 80 per cent of the world’s waste-water will get launched into nature with out being handled or recycled, whilst the specter of international warming and its implications loom closely over the planet.

Around 200 crore (2 billion) individuals worldwide use consuming matter contaminated with fecal matter and different pollution that pose large well being hazards, many with deadly penalties.

Around 45 crore (450 million) kids on the planet dwell in excessive or extraordinarily excessive water vulnerability, and the UN has forecast that round 70 crore (700 million) may very well be displaced as a consequence of water shortage by 2030.

Under such a grim state of affairs, Maharashtra presents an image of concern with practically 55 per cent of its valuable ground-water assets getting depleted, and there may be rising exploitation of underground water owing to varied elements, principally the burgeoning human inhabitants in city and rural areas.

Leading water professional and ex-Member, Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) & Maharashtra State Ground Water Authority (MSGWA) Vinod Tiwari warns that if stringent measures aren’t thought-about on precedence, Maharashtra might see an irreparable lack of ecological well being as uncontrolled exploitation of ground-water assets continues blatantly as a consequence of non-implementation of legal guidelines.

He mentioned that exploitation of ground-water is strictly banned for industrial, business and even agriculture although water from wells of upto 18 metres (60-feet) depth is allowed for consuming and cultivation functions.

“In cities like Mumbai, Pune and others, the water tanker mafia has turned ground-water into a thriving business enterprise worth over Rs 5, 000 crore annually, despite orders from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and MWRRA, with big politicians also as players, ” Tiwari instructed IANS.

As per the National Compilation of Dynamic Ground Water Resources of India (NCDGWR) 2023 report, the state has various rock forms of various ages in numerous areas, however is usually lined by Deccan Traps.

Other geological formations are discovered within the north-east elements of the state and in stray patches within the coastal Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts, however a big half is underlain by Basaltic onerous rocks the place dug-wells rule the roost.

Mostly tapping the weathered and fractures/joints underground, the water yield of dug-wells, with a diameter of 3-15 metres and depths ranging from 6 metres or extra, can fluctuate from simply 3-5 litres per second (lps).

A small a part of the state has semi-consolidated sedimentary rocks the place tube-wells yield between 5-45 lps.

Surprisingly, the drought-prone elements of central Maharashtra, comprising Marathwada and surrounding areas, obtained very much less rainfall (400 mm-700 mm/pa, however the geology is beneficial for ground-water recharge.

The dependency on ground-water right here could be very excessive, and practically 65 per cent of all irrigation wells within the state are on this area comprising Aurangabad, Beed, Dhule, Osmanabad, Satara, Nashik, Sangli, Jalgaon, Solapur, Ahmednagar and Pune.

The NCDGWR assessed ground-water assets for 1, 534 watersheds within the state after which apportioned them to the taluka ranges.

It found that the full annual ground-water recharge of the state is round 32.76 billion cubic metres and annual extractable ground-water assets is 30.95 billion cubic metres.

The annual ground-water extraction is 16.66 bcm and the stage of ground-water extraction is 53.83 per cent.

Out of the 353 talukas, 9 (2.55 per cent) are categorised as ‘over-exploited’, one other 9 (2.55 per cent) rank as ‘critical’, 57 (16.15 per cent) as ‘semi-critical’, and the remaining 277 (78.47 per cent) as ‘safe’, whereas one taluka (0.28 per cent was discovered to be ‘saline’.

The NCDGWR discovered that of the 259, 914.03 sq km recharge worthy space within the state — 7, 034.69 sq km (2.71 per cent) is ‘over-exploited’; 8857.49 sq km (3.41 per cent) is ‘critical’; 56, 959.42 sq km (21.91 per cent) is ‘semi-critical’; 186, 285.52 sq km is ‘safe’; and 776.89 sq km (0.30 per cent) is classed as ‘saline’.

Compared with the NCDGWR’s 2022 evaluation, the annual floor water recharge and annual extractable floor water assets in 2023 has elevated marginally from 32.29 bcm to 32.76 bcm and 30.45 to 30.95 bcm, respectively, however the annual floor water extraction stays virtually steady, whereas the stage of ground-water extraction fell barely from 54.68 per cent (2022) to 53.83 per cent (2023).

Tiwari referred to as for “extremely urgent” implementation of the Maharashtra Ground Water Act, 2009 and the Rules of 2018 that are but to be finalised for the previous over six years owing to ‘sheer apathy and lack of political will’.

“Unless the state enforces the laws and ensures ground-water replenishment on a war-footing – at least by 15-20 percent annually – more than 80 per cent of the population could face severe water scarcity challenges after 2030, ” warned Tiwari.

Besides the fast-depleting floor water assets in India’s prime industrialised state, the MPCB has to observe the water high quality when it comes to bodily, chemical and organic traits of the liquid, guarantee strict compliance with consuming water requirements to assist defend human well being and surroundings.

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